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LOS ANGELES — A veteran elementary school teacher was arrested on horrifying child molestation charges after a film processor gave police photos showing blindfolded children with their mouths taped and cockroaches on their faces, authorities said Tuesday.

Mark Berndt, 61, was arrested Monday at his Torrance home and remained jailed on $2.3-million bail, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department statement.

The charges involve 23 boys and girls ages 6-10 between 2008 and 2010.

The investigation started when the film processor gave authorities 40 photos depicting blindfolded children in a classroom with their mouths taped shut.

Berndt worked for more than 30 years at Miramonte Elementary in an unincorporated area of south Los Angeles before being fired as a result of the investigation. Miramonte serves a poor, mainly Hispanic neighborhood. More than half of its approximately 1,400 students still are learning English, according to the school’s website.

Some of the photos showed Berndt with his arm around children or with his hand over their mouth. Other pictures depicted girls with what appears to be a spoon up to their mouths as if they were going to ingest a clear-white liquid.

Sheriff’s Lt. Carlos Marquez of the Special Victims Bureau said it was determined the children were given semen on a spoon or on a cookie. A blue plastic spoon and container found in trash in Berndt’s classroom tested positive for semen, the sheriff’s statement said.

None of the photos showed the students actually eating the semen, but Marquez said the children reported they didn’t like the taste. Authorities are recommending the children be tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

Some of the children’s mouths and faces had large, live Madagascar-type cockroaches on them, according to the statement.

The incidents occurred during school hours, but not all the children were students of Berndt, Marquez said.

None of the alleged victims told anyone about the incidents, Marquez said. “They didn’t know they were being violated in that manner. They just thought it was a game,” he said.

Berndt is unmarried, has no children and there’s no indication of a previous arrest record, authorities said.

“I am sickened and horrified by the behavior of Mark Berndt,” Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said in a statement.

More than 80 current and former students and school employees were interviewed for the investigation. Searches of the classroom and Berndt’s home turned up about 390 photos depicting children, Marquez said.

In addition, a DVD depicting adult sexual bondage “which mirrored the bondage-type photos of the children” was found during the search, the sheriff’s department said, noting that those images are not a crime.

10 Responses to DIRTY BASTARD

  • beat him to sickness…


    wow.. tell yuh bou dem ppl yah enuh… d ones weh suppose to a tek care a d pickney dem

  • SERENITY says:

    Man like dem deh fi just get the electric chair causen at this stage in fi him life,rehabilitation is out of the question. Him not good enough for people tax money. Quick death mi say…dem can always feed him semen since him seem to like it so much then tie him up & mek him drink some rat poison

  • Phat Rabbit says:

    What a wicked, sick man. So him mek sure seh him go teach weh most ah di pickney just ah learn fi speak english. What is this world coming to?

  • Met says:

    goodmorningggggggggggggggggggggggg brb people

  • Phat Rabbit says:


    Serenity, him nuh deserve no quick death. He needs to be tortured, like how dem Colombian and Mexican do. Dem fi pull out every one ah him teeth dem one by one, and cut off him finger and toes and den castrate him and mek him bleed to death. How di eff yuh fi ah gi likkle pickney semen?? My goodness man, ppl can so sick!?!

  • SERENITY says:

    @ Phat rabbit,now that you mention it,di colombian ting deh sound fitting fi this sick ole bastard

  • Phat Rabbit says:

    Serenity fi real man. You can’t even send your kids to school and think they are safe. Ah dem tings yah mi fraid ah yuh nuh.

    My son dem say I’m so hard on them because I won’t let them stay outside as late as their other friends. I have to be brutally honest with them and mek dem know say some ppl sick and dem will kidnap yuh and rape yuh. Mi tell dem every friggin ting and mek dem know, no mek NOBODY touch dem private or nutten like dat. Mi haffi mek dem know dem can tell me anything coz I don’t think I could handle it if something like that happen to them.

  • Bliss says:

    I can’t read this.

    You have to stay on course with the LAUSD, that is all I can say.

    Colombia? …have mercy..the *cough* ‘clean-up squad’ would have picked him up from his house before he even reached the court…

  • Him fih dead slow dem fi Mel him drink 10 gallon a semen first. Dutty stinking pig!

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